January 31, 2013 Subject:
A Revisitaion: Still An Unmitigated Disaster
The first of two Rod La Rocque turns as "The Shadow" is still a dsiaster. I own a copy om disc, but this version is much better picture and sound wise anyway. La Rocque is good, but trying too hard to act suave and at the same time mysterious. A lot of the cast are pros and a lot of the rest bad or worse. The director shot some scenes at night and in others where it calls for night, he shot in the daylight without a night lense. So much for continuity. This is supposed to be fairly true to the Street and Smith pulp "Shadow". Forget about it. The whole story is hoary to say the least and the ending is ridiculous. I won't give it away. Cy Kendall as a rotound baddie is fine here. Walter McGrail plays an excellent eccentric, against type, and he's also too good for the room, but I digress. MPEG-4 download makes all the difference in the world, but it's just bad. Look at the second "Shadow" feature to see how much thought and re-tooling went into that film to see the difference. Watch if you must. Good production values anyway.